La metafonia del Salento meridionale. Fenomeno arcaico o moderno?


According to a historical interpretation of the phonological phenomena characterizing the central-southern Italian varieties, metaphonic raising of the mid-low vowels (/ɛ, ɔ/→[e], [o]/__[i, u]) was considered an archaic phenomena; conversely, metaphonic diphthongization of the same vowels (/ɛ, ɔ/→[jɛ], [wɔ]/__[i, u]) was considered an innovative process. In this work, we address this issue in the light of clear evidence of metaphonic raising involving /ɛ/, /ɔ/ found in southern Salento. Our aim, limited to the available data, is to discuss the question by crossing two perspectives of analysis. We will use the tools of historical linguistics, and therefore we will adopt adiachronic perspective, trying to integrate it with the synchronic perspective, incorporating some assumptions of theoretical linguistics. In this way, we want to better explain linguistic change and in particular the metaphony processes of southern Salento characterized by micro-variation. Thus, we will try to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of the two approaches and in parallel to develop an hypothesis that combines the two perspectives of analysis. This will help us to plan more focused researches in the future with a clear awareness of the problems raised by this kind of data.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i22390359v51p305

Keywords: metaphony; micro-variation; gradience; diachrony; synchrony

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